High School football games are tradition, family, friends, and of course, football. Jeremy and I decided to go to Philomath to watch them take on the Cheesemakers (what an interesting name, but that's another post).
I am a little apprehensive because I don't want anyone to feel "weird" around me, like I have some disease, or think it will catch if I stand too close. Or feel sorry for me. We are all dealt cards and mine just happened to be the dreaded breast cancer card - stupid. It was wonderful to see some of the players, get updates of things and laugh and laugh and laugh. They have a way of doing that, what a lucky person I am.
But you knew they all wanted to ask how I was, is it going to be ok, will you be back, and more stares. Were they surprised I was my same self, smiling, laughing, preaching, and more preaching. Was I supposed to change somehow and become something else? I didn't supercede either, just let them try and see if they could get the words out, they couldn't but one..... oh Brooke, how I appreciate your candor..... but it did take you awhile to get it out, I knew you would eventually, "Your thingy...." she says.
"No, Brooke, it isn't a thingy, but rather breast cancer. It's ok to say." You won't catch it, or hurt my feelings.
But earlier in the night, I get the most wonderful gift, nothing extravagant, spectacular, or expensive, but one of the best gifts - The Card. Now, this isn't just any old card, but one filled with a lot of love and compassion for their coach that made them do belly crawls in the mud, 1000 jumping jacks, over the line, CIRCUITS, and Cinco de Mayo celebrations - not things that are all loved equally, but a part of a really great season of growth. I was shocked, happy, and grateful that I was thought about. I never expected it. I couldn't read The Card right there, I would have cried, not because I was sad, but because I was thought of. It can be an overwhelming feeling, to be cared about by others. Missy, Charisa, Stueve and Bri gave it to me, I hugged them.
You see as a coach you teach the game and pound those fundamentals into their heads and bodies until they perform to their highest possible level. You always get the, "But, I can't do it!"
We don't allow that word on our softball field but rather, "I can," and "I will." My objective is the game and what it takes to beat your opponent. My bigger objective is pushing your limits and building my players' character and inner strength.
There is character abound tonight on the Philomath track, football game in gear, cheering and laughing erupting everywhere. This is tradition, family and friends, and I have The Card.
"I CAN and I WILL!" are all I need to know.